Peppa Pig, Wolfoo Peppa Pig, Wolfoo

This summer, amid a flurry of legal issues, Youtube removed nearly 2,000 extremely popular Wolfoo videos produced by Vietnamese studio Sconnect following claims from Entertainment One (EOne) that the franchise is a knockoff of its popular Peppa Pig series.

What’s happened? In June, Youtube pulled the Wolfoo videos from several verified accounts hosted by the show’s production company Sconnect. According to social media tracking website Social Blade, the videos have likely lost somewhere between two and three billion views since then. Sconnect claims that downtime has cost the company significant financial losses, and “the damage is increasing every hour.”

Why did the videos get taken down? Youtube took down the Wolfoo videos after requests were made by EOne, the Toronto-based company which owns Peppa Pig. According to Sconnect, EOne’s claims that Wolfoo was derived from Peppa Pig are false, and Youtube should not have acted on them.

What is the legal history here? EOne, which is owned by American toy company Hasbro, previously filed copyright suits against Sconnect in both the U.K. and Russia, claiming that Wolfoo is little more than a “reworked” Peppa Pig knockoff. The U.K. case was meant to take place in July but has been delayed until November. The Russian case took place in August, when the Moscow City Court dismissed the claims by EOne against Sconnect. The court definitively stated that no breach of intellectual property rights had been committed by Sconnect, and that EOne cannot file a claim making the same accusations against Sconnect in the future.

What was Sconnect’s response? Sconnect filed a countersuit in Russia seeking compensation for losses and filed an unfair competition lawsuit against EOne with the People’s Court of Hanoi, claiming illegal use of trademarks and images. According to Sconnect, EOne has used the Wolfoo tag on at least 53 of its Peppa Pig videos to pull traffic that would have otherwise been directed to the Wolfoo channels.

Where does Youtube stand? According to Youtube, its copyright protection tools are meant to be used by property owners and users alike, and it never acts as an intermediary to resolve conflicts like the one between EOne and Sconnect. Essentially, it looks like the platform is waiting for a more definitive conclusion to the legal feud before it’s willing to take any further action on behalf of either party. This isn’t the first time that Youtube has been asked to intervene under similar circumstances. Just last year, Youtube took down the Super Jojo channel, which had more than 22 million subscribers at the time, after a copyright claim was made by Cocomelon producers Moonbug Entertainment and Treasure Studio.

Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang is the Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.

Latest News from Cartoon Brew